A Short Endurance Run

I look at the ’21’ on my shirt sleeve.  Then at my young adult son.  Having  gone through three miscarriages, I can’t compare the loss of a child held and seen for years to the idea of an baby dead before birth.  I can’t imagine losing one of my children, thirty-something to the barely adult, or a younger child.  It is beyond my experience.

Then it clicks.  That devastation that I can’t comprehend, it led them to this – a fundraiser for research to prevent another parent from walking in their shoes.  This is the battle they still fight, along side parents bearing this burden.

Would I be so strong?  Could I find solace in something so selfless?  I don’t know for sure; hope so. But. Probably not.  While up to now I don’t know anything about this, other than running for a good cause, I hope and pray no other child or parent has to experience the loss.

If every step taken tomorrow could stomp out cancer instead of slapping the pavement, no one would know the twisted theft of life cancer takes. If every foot pounding the pavement could kill a cancer cell, who could ever stop at three miles?


Men. OH! Pause, ALL!

What does (cue traumatic music) menopause have to do with running?  Well, for some, not a damn thing.  For others, it is our stress release and the opportunity to try to loose those pounds before the senility of senior citizenship has slowed us to a shuffle.  For me, it makes a difference in dealing with the emotional part of the hormonal changes.

Some had accused me of being near tears, when my mood was happy.  Something was definitely amiss.  Now, whether it is projection on their part, or denial on mine, didn’t quite figured out.  Honestly, didn’t have the time.  Which there was another cause, maybe tired?

Slogging away has paid off, kissing a 17 minute mile now instead of a 20.  Delighted in that. Training for a half marathon, and hoping someday for a triathlon.  Kicking up the cross part of training has been a recent focus.

Swimming, running, lifting, yes, weight lifting is now on the agenda.  But don’t freak out.  There are many programs out there that are more about sculpting and defining, as well as strengthening without – let me say this again, WITHOUT BULKING UP.  Didn’t want to bulk, just want to avoid osteoporosis, gain any increase my metabolism possible (which building muscle can do, and make the body be more efficient) and improve my strength.

It was a struggle because all that working out did make me tired, but the persistence has begun to pay off, because my energy level is increasing as well as my patience.  Now, that is a helpful menapausal benefit – patience.  So is feeling great, and knowing that after a long run, yes, you can have that donut.


yes, this is a shameless admittance of stupidity of leaving things where mongrels can get to them. true it is also a shameless attempt at getting free Garmin stuffs. Will let you know how well that works. (Not expecting anything to come of it but what the hell, ya know?)


Apparently The DOG likes going on runs with me.  Of course I didn’t take her to the race last Saturday. Nope, I didn’t take her on the first run of this week either.  Why?  Well, it was hot and I hadn’t planned on taking a run. I had left stuff at the gym; decided it was more environmentally friendly and better for my health to just run there.  Which would have meant tying her up in the sun on a concrete parking lot in the heat. That is a bad parent, puppy or otherwise. So she stayed home in the a.c.

Did she appreciate it? Well, no. She was peeved and chewed up my new to me Garmin. Ok, so it was just the watchband.  Destroyed.  At first I was concerned because the buckle thingie was missing and frantically searched the floor and room for it.  This could have meant a trip to the vet.  Thankfully it was intact in the fuzzy dog bed on the floor.  Whew!


She is a pretty smart dog, or I am a perceptive dog parent, because she hadn’t begun to chew on the watch itself.  That part started beeping out of self preservation, alerting me something amiss.

Off to the internet to find out how hard was this going to be to replace? Thankfully on the Garmin website you can order new bands. Oh, and they are the easiest band to replace I am happy to say.  Thanks Garmin.  (Someone there must own a puppy and have gone through this before.)

Thus the Garmin itself was saved. I also got the important message from The Dog, “TAKE ME WITH YOU!”


We may have to try some dog friendly events.  Love you too, Carolina.




What was I thinking?

Prepping for Hoops for Life.  A hilly 5K that will kick my backside (ass).  It is nearly five weeks away. I am barely ready to run a 5k.  A flat, no incline 5K in an hour with people. 

I mapped out a course of hills to walk. Started that last week. So, I took the plunge to do an interval on it.  No easy week one or two was on my pod, but week three was. (It helps to make these kind of decisions before setting out.)

What the heck.

So. I hit the play button and picked up my walking pace.  Down one hill, turn around and up.  Check time nearly fifteen minutes.  Not bad. Down another, turn around, and up.

It was hot. Forgit about it.

Heading down another hill to home. The tracking device blurts out 1.3 miles at 25:?? minutes.  Happy numbers!

Even better, when I got home and turned all my data off, it ended up being a mile and a half in 30:17. Hills! Hills.  I looked to see, it was a total elevation gain of 96 feet.  Maybe I will survive next month.


First off, after writing the above, instead of sneaking off for a shower and a soak, which was the plan – I got on the swimsuit and went to the gym to swim.  Instead of my normal 1/3 of a mile, it was cut back to 1/5th (afternoon appointment).

By 5P I was dragging.  What was I thinking?  Um,  triathlon?  I only missed out on doing the cycling.

This morning, I felt the depletion of energy. Granted my muscles were a tad bit annoyed with the push of yesterday, but the energy was the kicker.

Last week I had briefly done some searching on Tri/s.  I was relieved to find out there are a variety.  Yesterday, minus the cycling I almost did a half a sprint. Well, at least the distance of half a sprint on the swim and run.

What was I thinking?


Oh, my discovering my competitive side.  News to me.  Ok, those in the peanut gallery, hush up the giggles. I wasn’t nor do I consider myself to be athletic.  Certainly nothing on this side of coordinated either.

What benefit has this exploration of fitness, round something like six, done for me.  The amount of clarity in some of my personal writing and most assuredly time to work out in my mind the images for the children’s picture book.

And, the toying of an idea of picture book on grief.  Like a mustard seed letting this idea get some roots before I push forward on it. Struggling to get in shape is helping me put into perspective honing my craft of writing.

In the grand scheme of things, it is ALL bigger than me.



What I Did

About eleven years back I started running. It was my fortieth birthday present to myself.  I was determined to get into some healthy and athletic shape.  This from a girl who walked around with leg braces (Thanks Osgood Schlatter’s Disease) in high school .  I did some research and found that it was associated with growth and not forever. I get the ok from my doctor at my pre birthday exam to start working out.

Commenced Higdon’s program to get going. No, of course I didn’t follow it to the letter.

I did my first 5 K at Great Lakes Naval Station. There was this fellow at the end of the race that really knocked my ego. It put all the encouragement my family and neighbors gave me out of my mind and heart; it crushed me.  He was antsy to get his award, as he had somewhere to be and they were going to wait for the last runner.

I wasn’t the last.  I didn’t place. I came in under forty-five minutes. The last runner was overweight.  Took him over an hour. The majority of the runners stayed at the finish line and yelled the guy in. Some even wentqwaszxcz out to help pace and encourage him in the last few hundred feet.  Not, unlike what my neighbors and husband did for me.  They came out to meet me and run me in. I made them get back on the other side. I wanted to cross by myself.  It was an ego thing.

I let that one guy ruin it for me.  One guy. Stupid me.

I continued to run, but by myself, maybe with my husband, or a family member.  Alone. No events no racing.  I have dropped off running twice now since then.  It has taken some time to realize that I have a love hate thing going on with running and exercise in general.  Love swimming.  Bicycling.  Running.  (Yes, I know there are triathlons out there.  I am toying with training for one. An easy one.  A slow mover friendly one. Will see.)


Cut to this year.  Back in the shoes again.  First race was in April.  I didn’t start training for it until March.  I finished. Dead last. One hour thirteen minutes and fifty-nine seconds. My husband who walked the whole thing with me, (I walked it didn’t run), placed second in his age.  The man can run circles around me.  He found it funny. I was relieved.  I mean, he stayed with me the whole race, of course the guy deserved a medal!  It was awesome. I hyperventilated the whole way.  Couldn’t run much.

I can’t run in a pack. I hate crowds. Stage fright way bad. That first race, stuck with me, standing at the finish line listening to the one loud jerk.

So I signed up for an endurance run.  Ten hours. Half mile horse track. With over two hundred other people.  Thinking?  If I put myself in the situation that I fear the most for the longest possible time available, I have to get over that fear, right?

So much for self diagnosis and treatment.  I nearly quit after seven miles, about halfway through the race.  So, I took a nap.  I wasn’t leaving the site until the end. I woke up to my friends, Melissa, Tammi,  Kristy and Maurica chatting outside my tent.

They didn’t push or prod. They ran their races. Worked towards their goals.  Talked about their issues and how they planned on dealing with the pain, the blisters, the pacing problems.  They made suggestions.  They shared their gear, food, water supply, chairs, etc.  They didn’t quit. They didn’t let each other quit.

I didn’t quit.  It took a while and one of my buddies, Kristy,  stayed back with me for a while. She had met her goal.  We talked.  She helped me gear back up and get back out there for one more lap. One more half mile.

I made it. There was till nearly two hours left in the race.  A quick calculation walking from the timer chute to the track exit. Eleven more laps would meet my goal, that’s all I had to do.  Averaging 10 minutes a lap, yes, that meant 20 minute miles  Most anyone could do five and half miles in two hours.  I had a good friend walk six miles with me in two hours two weeks ago.  It was possible I could still end the race with goal in hand.

So, I walked.  One lap at a time.  One half mile closer at a time.

Then. Again. That one guy.

Only this guy, he was the big winner. Being walked in the last lap by family, three abroad. In front of me.  My last curve before the finish line.  How bad I wanted to run it. I had to get around that one guy.  The fast guy. The guy that had gone farther.  The Man.

I debated the whole last straightway.  Do I say something? I didn’t know if I had the energy burst to go out and up the track to get around.  I mean, I hadn’t trained to run a half marathon.  I had been barely trained for a 5K.  We were in the single digit minutes counting down to hour ten, I couldn’t see the time until after I was out of the curve. Was I willing to be the jerk or just let it go?

I was the jerk.

I said, “Excuse me!”


“I need to get around.  I know this is your race and I am not in your league, but I want to finish and make my goal. So sorry.”

I almost stopped running when I heard his reply.

“Go on. This isn’t my race.  My race is over.  This is your race. Finish it!”

I could have cried, except I had to finish the race.

I made my goal.  In ten hours. With a nap.

I ran with a pack of people.  Sure, there are going to be jerks. They are everywhere in everything, as my friend pointed out after the race.  BUT, for every one of those, there is at least one, if not ten, that aren’t.

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